CAQ Interface iQ-Basis - INFOR AS
Interfaces determine Capacity Factor and Economy
The software product INFOR AS by the company INFOR Global Solutions (formerly BRAIN) is one of the leading PPS systems that are nowadays on the market. For this reason it is mainly used by companies that have far-reaching demands on the product and service quality.
A similar status has the product iQ-Basis by the company AHP. It is one of the leading CAQ systems. INFOR AS customers are using iQ-Basis for over 10 years in productive use.
The interface technique of iQ-Basis to PPS systems is basically different from those of the competitors. The core of an extensive and effective integration of PPS and CAQ is the communication between both systems. The table below shows an extract of the even larger number of single interfaces between both systems.You have to consider that for a complete CAQ integration there are a lot more needed than those. But usually there are three to five standard interfaces, e.g. for bought-in parts. This shows that already in medium-term there will hardly exist another interface technique than that one AHP uses. The main difference between other commercially available systems and iQ-Basis appears therein that:
- there is an active data transfer between the PPS and CAQ system in the classic way, this means the interface has to be realized and maintained by both system. In contrast we are responsible for the interface maintanance during a release change of the PPS system or the CAQ system.Thereby we disburden the customer from a subliminal concern about the long-term protection of investment.
- with iQ-Basis it is possible to access several different types of databases simultaneously, this means the database of iQ-Basis and also that one of INFOR AS. Even more: iQ-Basis and INFOR AS are able to use the AS/400 database as a basis database. So there is another very economic option for the customers.
The interface concept that has been developed for the INFOR AS environment turned out to be profitable and simple. We will extend these experiences also to other PPS systems.
The technical Realization of the InterfaceThe Supply of Information from INFOR AS
For the deployment of our software we use the development tool Uniface. For this reason our iQ-Basis modules
are executable on all standard operating systems and DBMS. Furthermore the applications are able to access several
databases of different producers (Oracle, Informix, DB/400 and so on) simultaneously. We used this capacity.
The graphic on the right side shows exemplary tables for master and dynamic data in the INFOR AS environment.
For the data that is relevant for iQ-Basis we set up a logical view for each table. Via the view it is possible to access the BRAIN tables directly by the application without using active components of INFOR AS.
With this method we have important advantages compared to the standard interface technique:
- We access the INFOR AS data without disturbing the company INFOR Global Solutions.
- We save extensive effort for the back and forth transfer of data that is partly even realized by ASCII files.
- If there are database extensions on side of INFOR AS we are not affected because our view does not change.
- The direct access of INFOR AS data stands out by high performance.
- INFOR AS data is only read. A change is prohibited because of data consistency that has to be ensured by INFOR AS (compare beneath)
- The redundant data management in iQ-Basis can not be abjured because all master data on our part are extended for quality concern.
- Of course the redundancy does not apply for stocks, like the transport requirements that only have an informative character for iQ-Basis. For a transport requirement arrival there is created an arrival inspection order. In iQ-Basis there is no table for transport requirements.
- The communication between AS/400 and the client with the iQ-Basis modules does not occur via ODBC technique. For huge data stocks from the point of view of the performance this can be of central importance.
For the reserve of data to INFOR AS it is prohibited to write it directly into the INFOR AS tables.
For this purpose we use the brilliant INFOR AS monitors.
The monitor technique of INFOR AS is carried as follows: For a particular monitor the data that has to be booked is extracted from a batch file. Then it is booked in the INFOR AS tables only using already existing INFOR AS programs. The only used interface to INFOR AS is the official monitor table that is provided by INFOR AS.
SCK monitor: For the response of usage decisions for the supplied material after the inspection has been carried out and evaluated in iQ-Basis.
MCP monitor: For the reservation of replacement parts in the course of the generation of a maintenance order.
With the clear table structures of INFOR AS, the excellent monitor technique for diverse functional areas and the manifold Uniface performances an interface technique has been proved of value that ensures us the headstart over competitors (considering that diverse additional interfaces have to be realized).The interface between PPS and CAQ
for an extensive integration